A/N: This is a challenge response. Seriously, people, what else do I write? Anyway, another challenge from Sophie (gilmorefanforever)… this one's to write about what would happen if Rory was the one who had to leave the Dance Marathon in "They Shoot Gilmores, Don't They?"… and Luke had to come and hold Lorelai up. So, this is my lovely version of events. Read, review, and enjoy.

The yellow card was looking better and better at that moment for Rory. Dean was agitated about something… she couldn't quite figure out what it was. But with her and her mom being one of the last two couples, Rory wasn't going to take any chances of Lorelai losing.

That is, until she thought of an idea. "Mom?" she asked. "I need to ask you something."

"Speak."

Rory took a deep breath. "We're in what, the last hour now? I need to use the yellow card, okay?"

Lorelai's eyes widened. "For what? Are you okay?"

"I'm fine, I'm just not sure that Dean is. He's angry and I need to go talk to him before he does something stupid. Please?" Rory begged.

Lorelai straightened up. "But what if I get tripped by Kirk? I can't stand here all alone! What happened to the notion that you wouldn't fall for the pie? Maybe Dean's being paid by Kirk to do all this…"

Rory shook her head. "Luke?" she called. She waved at him, trying to get his attention as he sat on the bleachers. She finally succeeded, and he made his way onto the dance floor.

"What is it?" he asked.

"I need you to do me a huge favor, Luke… I have to use the yellow card to talk to Dean, and Mom doesn't want Kirk to trip her," Rory explained, adding the last part with a bit of a 'humor Lorelai' tone. "Can you just hold onto her for ten minutes?" Rory asked, ber big blue eyes doing their job perfectly.

Luke shook his head. "Rory, I…"

"Please, Luke?"

Sighing, Luke took Rory's place. "You are two of the worst manipulators I have ever met," he said, watching Rory run off to talk to Dean.

"We take that as a very nice compliment," Lorelai teased. "I didn't know you could dance, Fred Astaire."

Luke moved her across the dance floor, far away from Kirk. He wasn't in the mood for the trash talk, and he wanted to be seen by as few people as possible. This was surely going to be held against him for the rest of his life. "Well," he sighed, "it's not one of those things I flaunt."

"You should. You'd be quite the charmer," Lorelai teased, looking into Luke's eyes. "I mean, come on, a handsome, strong, selfless gentleman like yourself that can also dance and cook? Some girl's basically got the entire package here."

Luke shook his head. "I think the lack of sleep you've gotten in the past 24 hours has caused you to become nice to me all of a sudden. You'll feel differently with a cup of coffee in your system tomorrow."

Lorelai tilted her head to the side. What made Luke think that she'd change her mind? Who said she was supposed to change her mind? What if she really did find everything that she said to be true? Who was Luke to judge that, huh? "I meant it, Luke. You're a good guy. You were just totally shanghaied into dancing with me here, but you did it for my daughter… I'm not going to just let that go, you know."

"It's no big deal."

"You know," Lorelai shook her head, "sometimes I wonder why you say things are 'no big deal' when they really are. You fixing things for me, being there for us when we need it… those things you've done for us over the years… those were a big deal to us. So, give yourself a little credit, why don't you?"

Luke lowered his head slightly. He wasn't one for big productions. He didn't need a parade in his honor every time he did something good for someone, like a lot of other guys did. He was perfectly happy with a 'thank you', but Lorelai seemed to want to do something more. He was often better off without getting recognized at all. "I don't need to give myself credit, I do things because I want to help."

"There is such a thing as too modest, Luke," she said, moving a little closer. "Have you ever given yourself credit for something you did?"

Sensing that Lorelai wouldn't take 'no' for an answer, Luke decided to be daring. It wasn't a side of him that usually came out, but the risk-taker in him emerged for just a moment. "I give myself credit for breaking down to Rory… this dancing thing hasn't been so bad."

Lorelai could sense that Luke was flirting. Luke was flirting? Maybe he was right, maybe the lack of caffeine was getting to her. Or maybe she'd flirt back, let the caffeine deprived side take over and see what progressed from there. "It hasn't, has it?" she asked with a sly smile.

"No, I've actually enjoyed it."

Lorelai riased her eyebrows. "You're capable of enjoying something. Well, my, my, we learn something new every day, don't we?" she teased, tapping her fingernails on Luke's back.

That was it for Luke. The flirting was getting to him, so he leaned in and kissed Lorelai, stopping her mid-dance. Luke and Lorelai kissed, oblivious that Kirk was declared the winner because Lorelai had stopped moving. When they broke apart and Lorelai caught sight of Kirk's victory lap, Luke immediately began to apologize.

"Jeez, I didn't mean to… uh… I shouldn't have done that, you lost because of me… I'm sorry…"

Lorelai shook her head. "It's no big deal. If I get some coffee in my system, I may be able to run a victory lap of my own right about now," she teased with a wink.

"Coming right up," Luke said, grabbing Lorelai's jacket and holding it out for her to put on.

"You are quite the gentleman, like I said, and you know, I find that very attractive," Lorelai teased, taking Luke's hand and walking to the diner with him.